No Mercy Monday: How to Play from the Blinds
In this strategy series, CoinPoker’s Chief Community Manager and pro poker player Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier walks you through the basics of the game. Each No Mercy Monday comes with expert advice on how to play, and it all starts with starting hands.
Last week we introduced the topic of position and how to take advantage of it. We will now look at a very special spot: playing from the blinds. In the coming weeks, we will dive in a little deeper with tips on stealing blinds and defending your own.
Playing from the Blinds
Sitting in the blinds is a very special position in poker. Depending on your perspective there are a few ways to look at it:
- The Positive Approach: You already put mandatory money into the pot, so it is cheaper to complete the amount and see a flop.
- The Negative Approach: Since it is indeed cheaper, you will be inclined to see flops with trashier hands than usual, and that can lead to a lot of problems, like getting caught up in action and losing a lot of money when you hit second or third pair, or even worse, ending up “air bluffing” all of your chips in the last effort to win the pot or to avoid exposing your meaningless starting hand.
- The Middle Ground Approach: Do not forget that it may seem cheaper to enter a pot from the blinds, but that you will also be first to act on every round of betting for the rest of the hand.
Overall, you should see your blinds as a mandatory fee to play one full round of table.”
Overall, you should see your blinds as a mandatory fee to play one full round of table. Indeed, for that specific amount, paid once from the small blind and once from the big blind, you will have the opportunity to play from each position at the table until the button finishes a complete round.
If the blinds are 100/200, you should see it as being a total cost for the round, and not as a mandatory 100 CHP to maybe see the hand from the small blind and a mandatory 200 CHP to maybe see it from the big blind.
To put it simply, it will cost you 300 CHP to get to see hands from every position around the table. It’s a fee per round, and so you do not have to systematically play hands from the blinds only because it seems “cheaper” than from other positions.
Don’t forget to join me twice a week in the Hubble Bubble tournaments to practice your skills and try to win my 2000 CHP bounty!
– Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier